Handyman Services & Pricing Guide

The rates and services of a handyman can vary widely depending on the market and handyman. A handyman (or handywoman) is a skilled generalist. Some jurisdictions require them to be licensed, but the term applies to a jack-of-all-trades who performs minor repairs or construction tasks on residential sites.

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  • Hire a Handyman Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $181 - $656
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    High cost:
  • Repair Tile & Grout Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $253 - $574
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  • Repair Cabinets Costs
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    $132 - $480
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Handyman Cost Factors

How much you pay your handyman will depend on several factors:

Size of a Handyman Job

The larger the job, the more time it will take to complete and the more it will generally cost. More experienced handymen can estimate how long a job will take before they start. Some handymen have certain jobs they charge a flat fee for as well. Discuss your project in detail with your handyman ahead of time to establish the price.

Small jobs

This includes relatively simple things such as replacing light switches and outlets. Replacing a broken garbage disposal is also considered a small job, as is repairing a leaky faucet, replacing a thermostat, or even hanging a picture. As a rule of thumb, if it requires simple hand tools and takes no more than 1 to 2 hours, it’s a small job.

Example: Fixing a water spout in the bathroom. The parts are there; they just need to be installed.

Medium jobs

These are a little more involved. Medium jobs can take more time and require a little extra expertise. For example, repairing drywall involves spackle, a putty knife and attaching support material if the damage is large enough. Hanging shelves can also be a medium job as shelves must be properly anchored into studs. These jobs can take between 2 and 4 hours to finish.

Example: Replacement installation for a mailbox

Large jobs

These are the most involved of handyman jobs and include wiring for a home theater, installing heating and cooling registers, wall repair or installing a kitchen sink with all of the elements. Generally, if you’re wondering if you need a handyman or a contractor for a particular job, it’s probably considered a large job. These jobs can take from 4 hours to a couple of days to finish depending on the complexity.

Example: Add locks to certain interior doors, install gate on stairway for kids and pets, and turn a cubby into a linen closet all in one visit.

  • Small Jobs
    • 1-2 hours, $77-$154 average
  • Medium Jobs
    • 2-4 hours, $154-$308 average
  • Large Jobs
    • 4+ hours, $308 on up.

Keep in mind, that if the job is big, requiring $500 a day or more, or includes the use of heavy machinery (bobcats, front-end loaders, etc.) you may want to hire a contractor instead.

Hourly Rates for a Handyman

The average hourly rate of a handyman is in the $60 to $65 price range. However, there are professional handyman services that may charge higher, sometimes up to $125 an hour. The benefit of these services, while more expensive, is a degree of assurance that the handyman is a competent professional and will provide a certain quality of work. The national average is about $77 an hour.

Handyman's Experience

Experience can be a valuable commodity. The rate will be based on their level of expertise. Experienced handymen may charge a higher rate, but take half the time to do a job than a less experienced pro.

You might think that an experienced handyman could do a job faster than an inexperienced one. However, consider that some jobs don’t take that long and most don’t involve serious complications. The $60 an hour handyman who just opened his business will probably take about the same time as the $125 an hour handyman who has 30 years in the business, and both will probably have no trouble on a small job like changing cabinetry hardware. However, a more complex job -- hanging entirely new cabinets or replacing kitchen countertops -- may benefit from an experienced handyman.

Complexity of the Job

The more complicated the job, the longer it will probably take and the more you'll pay for labor. A good handyman will be able to tell you from the start if there are aspects of the job they can't handle well. In those cases, you'll need a contractor or licensed specialist.

Simple jobs are often small jobs, but even some larger jobs can be fairly simple. Changing an interior door knob is easy and a “small” job while sanding and re-hanging an interior door is a “medium” job, yet neither is particularly complex. Removing and replacing an old toilet, on the other hand, involves heavy lifting, plumbing knowledge and cleanup. If you aren’t sure about the complexity of the job, ask the handyman you are interviewing about what’s involved.

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How Does A Handyman Charge?

Handymen normally charge by the hour, but can also charge a flat rate by the job. Some may charge for travel time, and some may charge a markup on parts they buy for your job. When gathering estimates, this is something you want to know early on.

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By the Hour

A handyman who works independently will usually charge around $60 to $65 an hour on average. Depending on where you live the actual price range can run from $55 to $75 for an independent operator. A handyman who is part of a larger business can charge up to $125 an hour or more. The advantage to this is that he is expected to have a lot more expertise and meet a certain standard.

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By the Job

Whether an independent handyman or part of a business, some jobs are best charged at a flat rate. These are usually larger jobs such as hanging chandeliers, mounting wall TVs, installing a toilet or a ceiling fan, or other such involved work.

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Cost Differences

The more complex a job is, the more likely it is to have complications. Also, some jobs can take a couple of days if preparation hasn’t been done. If you break it down, billing by the job can sometimes mean you are paying higher per hour if a handyman works quickly. However, some jobs take longer and you wind up paying less by the hour. So for example:

  • If a flat rate job is $150 and the handyman gets the job done in an hour, you’ve paid him $150 an hour.
  • However, if the flat rate job is $150 and complications cause the job to take four hours, you’re paying $37.50 an hour.

In general, an experienced handyman knows how long a job should take and may give you a flat rate based on that. If he knows a particular job will take about an hour, he may present his hourly rate as a flat rate. If he knows it will take two hours, he may give you the rate for two hours as a flat rate. Naturally, this is incentive for the handyman to work quickly, and keeping a happy customer is an incentive to do the job well.

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Common Handyman Job Lengths & Prices

Here are examples of some of the more common services and how long they take:

  • Replace thermostat, hang heavy picture, repair leaking pipe, replace a torn screen – 1-2 hours
  • Drywall repair (smaller sections, not an entire room), mount shelves – 2-3 hours
  • Replace window, hang a new door (includes shims, sanding, framework adjustments), woodwork repair – 3-4 hours
  • Repair a wall, install heating and air registers, install carpet (small room) – 4+ hours

Some services are quite involved and charging by the hour would make the cost prohibitive. Therefore, many handymen charge more complex jobs by the job. Here are some examples of services and prices that are often billed by the job:

  • Hall light installation: $65
  • Change toilet valve: $75
  • Bathroom faucet installation: $90
  • Hang ceiling fan (normal height): $100
  • Hang ceiling fan (second story height): $250
  • Install garbage disposal: $150
  • Install toilet bowl: $150
  • Install kitchen sink: $250-$300
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Finding the Right Handyman

Developing a trusting relationship with a skilled, reliable handyman is like finding that great daycare provider or doctor. Here are some tips about selecting which handyman to hire:

  • Make a list of what you need done and include some detail. “Fix my sink” is a bit too general. Noting information such as “My sink is leaking at the faucet” or “My sink is leaking where the pipe goes into the wall” can tell a handyman quite a bit about what to expect and can help them give you a better estimate.
  • Prioritize your to-do list. Check to see if the handyman will “bundle” tasks. For example, if your kitchen sink pipes were leaking but you wanted to replace the old faucet as well, you might be able to get both jobs done at once for less than you would pay for two separate visits.
  • Get at least 3 potential handymen to choose from. This will give you a reasonable range to learn what a typical job like yours should involve and cost.
  • Ask to see prior work they’ve done and check references.
  • Ask about their experience. Some handymen are also licensed for certain jobs such as electrical or plumbing, so if you have a plumbing repair needed, you can be reasonably sure of a handyman’s ability to do the job.
  • Ask about rates up front. Some handymen charge by the hour, often with a minimum, while others may also have jobs that they use a flat rate for. Setting a budget cap is not unreasonable,
  • Get estimates in writing. While you should avoid ballpark figures, there are some jobs that may turn into something more than originally discussed. For example, a handyman hired to clean your rain gutters and downspouts may find pieces that need replacing due to corrosion. They should advise you of the need before beginning any such further work.
  • Check for liability insurance. This is to protect yourself should he or she get hurt on the job.
  • Check for any complaints. Be sure to read the complaints if possible. Sadly, some people can be unreasonable or expect too much from others and will file complaints out of vindictiveness.
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What Jobs Should I Hire a Handyman For?

A handyman, contractor and DIYer share a lot of the same skills. However, there are times when you have to decide whether the job is one you can handle, or if you should call for help.


Many small repairs or modifications can easily be handled by anyone with a screwdriver or hammer.  DIY, however, is entirely dependent on the individual. What one person considers a simple task could be well beyond the abilities of another person. One way to decide if a project is better as a DIY project is to ask yourself what can go wrong and how badly.

  • Updating your kitchen cabinets with new handles is a project with very few complications. The worst that could happen is that you might not have screwed them in tight enough and they come loose.
  • Replacing an electrical outlet, however, can be very dangerous if you do it wrong. If you don’t know about electrical currents and how they work in your house, call someone who does.

Another consideration to think about is how many people it will take to do the job. A single person can build a house. However, it’s going to take a very long time and will be very difficult. Installing insulation or drywall can be handled quite easily by one person and requires little in the way of specialized skills. The actual effort of the job should be regarded as well. Installing a cinderblock wall is very labor-intensive. Moving blocks, mortar, and rebar can become tiring very quickly.  


Some jobs may seem simple enough -- turning your attic into an office or a spare bedroom, a larger picture window in your living room -- but often require quite a bit more knowledge. If your project is going to cost over $500 a day and take more than a day or two, you might want to hire a contractor. These projects are usually fairly big. They will also be more likely to require permits and inspections, and will often require a crew of workers to accomplish.

If you project requires any of the following, you need a contractor:

  • New plumbing
  • Modifying existing plumbing such as replacing lines
  • New electrical work
  • Repairing an electrical system such as replacing a breaker box or replacing wiring in the walls or ceiling
  • Installing or repairing gas lines
  • Any HVAC work beyond routine maintenance
  • Adding livable space such as a room addition or converting an attic or basement into a livable space
  • Major remodeling
  • Anything that affects the structure of your house.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Before beginning any project, check with your local regulations to see if your project is required to be done by a licensed contractor. Although it’s more expensive than hiring a handyman, hiring a contractor is a way to make sure that things are done safely and up to code.


A handyman is the happy medium between DIY or hiring a contractor. As stated above, there are some jobs a handyman isn’t allowed to do. This is why some handymen are also licensed contractors. It enables them to spread their nets wider when bidding on jobs.

  • A handyman can take care of numerous small jobs and sometimes works with contractors on large projects, especially when time is of the essence.
  • A handyman is quite versatile and can help with everything from replacing your thermostat to paving a new walkway.
  • They can handle most jobs that you may not have the time or ability to do yourself.
  • They can also do jobs that may be trickier than you might think like a toilet replacement.

To determine if you can use a handyman instead of a fully-licensed contractor, ask yourself the following:

  • Could I do it myself if I only had the time?
  • Could I do it myself if I only had the knowledge or ability?
  • Should this take less than a day?
  • Should this cost less than $500?
  • Can this be done by only one or two people?
  • Can this be done without a permit?

Answering “yes” to these usually means that your project can be done by a handyman. When looking for bids, be sure to give as much detail about the job as possible. An ethical handyman will tell you upfront if the job requires a contractor or if he or she isn’t comfortable with certain kinds of work.

Contractor vs. Handyman

A contractor is a specialist in his or her field: electrical contractor, plumbing contractor, construction contractor, etc. They often oversee a team that may consist of subcontractors who handle specialized jobs within the larger project. They are expected to be knowledgeable about permits and other such technicalities.

Handymen specialize in odd jobs. It could be replacing a broken cabinet hinge, stopping a leaky faucet or sanding down a gouge in your wood floor. The handyman is a trained generalist, and it was probably a handyman who coined the phrase, "No job too small."

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In Conclusion

“Handy” is defined as “convenient” or “good with hands or tools”. A handyman is both. If you have a lot of things to take care of that don’t include the repairs your house needs, a handyman can be the most convenient way to get those tasks done and done right. Just remember these final three tips to help the job go well:

  • Move furniture or other items away from where the handyman is going to be working before he or she gets there.
  • Make yourself available to answer any questions.
  • Keep kids and pets away from where the handyman is working.
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Share your cost experience

Help others plan and budget for their projects

Bonnie Scoggins More than 1 year ago
I will take walls down and I can do drywall and paint but I need new electrical services and plumbing maybe. Starting from scratch on new rooms and kitchen bathrooms so this has helped alot. I have to have contractors or a few handyman with license as when you put new electrical in, it has to be signed off by a license electrician. Doing jobs you know nothing about is very dangerous. This is a great article and very well written, I learned a lot from this and can now use this as a checklists for later, Thank you. FYI When glazing bathtub use the right materials and good materials and a good how to or it will peel but I assure you, you don't need any help except maybe from a friend
LaShan Jones More than 1 year ago

1. assessable cabinets

2. put together bookshelf

3. repair pantry shelf

4. replace shower heads

5. reglaze bathtub.

6.hang pictures

7. install ceiling fans

Nancy DeSerisy More than 1 year ago
reglaze bathtub?
Patrick Gregoire More than 1 year ago
Hi Nancy,
yes it can be done fairly easily but the person HAS to know how to reglaze/"repaint" the tub with the new enamel to avoid traces. if done properly, you should not see anything but it's not that easy anyway BUT it's a lot cheaper than changing a tub.
Stephen Hammel More than 1 year ago
Bath tub re glazing can run anywhere from 250.00 dollars to 700.00..
with 250. lasting about two plus years and 700.00 with a guarantee of 5 years.
paul costello More than 1 year ago
i hav e 20 years experiences from ground up biulding houses to costum house & log cabin design to owner spec! my work has alway made my costumers very SATISFY ALL MY WORK COMES WITH GREAT COMMENTS ! PLEASE INQUIRER ? SINCERELY MR PAUL K. COSTELLO NEW ENGLAND, MA.
Jim Bartlett 15 days ago

This is an excellent resource, especially the  pointthat says: "Check for any complaints. Be sure to read the complaints ifpossible. ***Sadly, some people can be unreasonable or expect too much fromothers and will file complaints out of vindictiveness.***"

We own a Handyman company in the Denver area and we do both fixed bids andtime-&-materials jobs. Yes, there are shady contractors. There are alsounprincipled and unethical customers, as any service professional will tellyou, like the woman who hired us to do an all day job, paid us at the end, thencalled the next day to threaten us with negative reviews on the BBB website ifwe didn't refund all her money. Who has time for this? We sent her money back-- and a week later her housekeeper emailed us to apologize -- that her bossdoes that to everyone from taxi drivers to her own financial advisor!

We were awarded the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust a couple of yearsago, and at the ceremony, the MC, who is the CEO of a local botanic garden, spokeabout how in our society today, people feel entitled to what they want, andempowered (through social media, etc.) to try to ruin you if you don't give itto them. He spoke of a visitor to the garden who said that the CEO's headshould be chopped up and used as mulch because they let schoolchildren into thegarden! My own mother, rest her soul, had an absolute fit when the installerwho (correctly) laid a new linoleum floor, did not notice that the"grout" lines on the fake tile did not bisect the pedestal of hertoilet exactly in the middle. I thought she would have another stroke. She didhave previous strokes that left her with some mental impairments, unfortunately-- and  I'm thankful she wasn't on social media or she would have ruinedseveral tradesmen with her paranoia. By the way, Home Advisor allows serviceproviders to challenge a negative review and they try to fairly listen to bothsides. Others, notably Yelp, will do nothing even if the client is lying andthe tradesperson can show this from emails exchanged. "It's theirexperience," Yelp says. My mother "experienced" cars driving upinto the trees outside her third-floor apartment and shining their lights inher windows. Not every "experience" is objectively true. And Yelphides a lot of reviews in their "Not Recommended" section but keepsthe bad ones front and center.

So when you see negative reviews, look for the positive ones as well. No one isperfect; most people do their best to satisfy their customers because theirreputation, their livelihood, and often the income of others such asappointment setters, subcontractors, etc. depends on their doing a good job.Mistakes happen and most people will try hard to remediate the issue until youare satisfied.

And  if you are consistently getting what you think are overpricedestimates/bids, stop and think: most service providers learn, over the years,to "read" clients and have a good idea of when a potential client isgoing to cost them in time, aggravation, and maybe even vindictiveness. So youmay not have a good idea of what your job "ought" to cost ... or youmay be giving off vibes that you are going to be that  difficult client.Something to consider.

But only Jesus was a perfect tradesman. Give the grace that you also want foryourself. Life is too short for vindictiveness.

EURIA JONES 4 months ago

give me a list of names in my area

4 months ago
Hi Euria, You can find a list of pros that serve your area here: http://www.homeadvisor.com/c.html. You can also send your contact info to emailus@homeadvisor.com if you'd like a project advisor to reach out. -HASupport
Joseph Fowler 7 months ago
I need to have leaves removed from my 3 gutters. It's a five minute job.

Can't  find anyone to do it.
7 months ago
Hi Joseph, We would be happy to assist you in finding a gutter pro for your project. You can submit a service request on our website: http://www.homeadvisor.com/ or browse pro reviews for gutter pros here: http://www.homeadvisor.com/c.html. We can also have a project advisor reach out to assist you if you send your contact information to emailus@homeadvisor.com. -HASupport
G S 8 months ago
Need help to put holidat lights around the house. To put carpet on stairs, few more minor jobs around the house.
Lisa Crist 11 months ago
How much to take out old toilet and install new one
Darlene Abate More than 1 year ago
replace "pulley" mechanism on my recliner? what should it cost approximately?
Kathy Livanec More than 1 year ago
Looking for someone ti install backsplash for bathroom vanity.  Mosaic tile ...
Dan Fulcher More than 1 year ago
Based on my figures I was right, my single straight drywall taped and muddled should have cost one days labor and materials. Approximately $600 to 700. I was first told $1800 then when I explained my calculations he quickly lowered to 1200. Still nearly or double the true cost. You must know what the work is worth. The estimated costs provided in this page are good and close. Otherwise you will get taken by overcharges. 
Jim Bartholomai More than 1 year ago
Repair tape separation of drywall on second floor finished space.
Malinda Bryant More than 1 year ago
Will the handyman install an above ground pool?

Carol Donohoe More than 1 year ago
Hang shades on front porch (2) & take down end of summer middle of September. Hang plant on ceiling 
Front porch........
samuel sprowls More than 1 year ago
dark streaks on asbestos shingles, needs cleaned with shock or similar   also soffit & fascia, vinyl siding, brick etc.
betsy wafer More than 1 year ago
I need boards replaced in fence 6 -8 ft tall also gate repaired wont open sagging and need lock please contact me now. thank you
More than 1 year ago
Hi Betsy, We've asked someone to reach out however in the future you can contact us by calling 1-877-800-3177. -HASupport
Stacy Manning More than 1 year ago
need 2 wrought iron columns removed & replaced / install 8" x 8" cement blocks (11 blocks each column) on front porch. Can anyone help? & thanks for attention!
Karen Trefethen More than 1 year ago
My reply is the same as Cherry Webb! Thank you for this information it has helped me a great deal, I know now what my next step should be. I fully understand the meaning of a handy man. So I will be getting a quote today and my ab getting a contractor. Because I am not sure yet what I need.
Jim Bressani More than 1 year ago
we have a pedestal sink to be repalce with a vanity with sink, we have, and to install new faucets. also to replace faucets elsewhere with a new faucet, also, to reseat our toilet
k oconnell More than 1 year ago
i have the same projet to be done. who did you get to do it?
David Wygmans More than 1 year ago
If you can describe the job to the handyman over the phone and avoid a call for an estimate, the handyman can charge less.
Marie Keller More than 1 year ago
install 2 ceiling lamps    install easy to install solor light    install wheelchair ramp
Jeff Schwartz More than 1 year ago
We charge $57.50 per/hour per/man with 4 hour minimum here in Miami. We are State Certified Building Contractors and with traffic times, labor & overhead costs we cannot charge less and stay in business. Jeff JS Construction 2 LLC
Nena Andueza More than 1 year ago
what would be an approximate cost of replacing a light fixture?
Hien Hopkins More than 1 year ago
did you find out how much would it cost yet? thanks
JUDY THOMAS More than 1 year ago
Wayne Burnette More than 1 year ago
how can I help :)
Cherry Webb More than 1 year ago
Thank you for this information it has helped me a great deal, I know now what my next step should be. I fully understand the meaning of a handy man.
Janine Burke More than 1 year ago
all I want is someone to build an ikea chair for me - Ikea charge $85.00 - do not want to pay that.
betsy wafer More than 1 year ago
please have someone contact me today
More than 1 year ago
Hi Betsy, We've asked someone to reach out however in the future you can contact us by calling 1-877-800-3177. -HASupport

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